A brief history of diets.

You know it’s bad when you really can’t remember at what age you started dieting.

I grew up in a house with two parents who struggled with their weight. As far back as I can recall, someone was always on Weight Watchers, or Atkins, or South Beach. My mom didn’t have very high self-esteem, and she did virtually nothing to ensure that I had any either. I didn’t grow up feeling very good about myself. Yes, I had a lot of friends and got good grades. But when it came to my looks or my body, I wasn’t taught to be satisfied with myself the way I was.

I was probably 11 or 12 when my mom decided that I needed to see a nutritionist. I had a big appetite and she thought there was something wrong with that. When my food intake was cut, I started sneaking food and binging. Then, at around 13 or 14, my mom took me to a weight loss doctor who prescribed me some kind of pill. It very well may have been Fen-phen, as this was probably about 1995 or 1996 and Fen-phen wasn’t pulled from the market until 1997. I went to this doctor weekly to weigh in, and I did lose weight, maybe about 20 pounds or so. I don’t remember why I stopped taking it, but I did.

My early high school years (specifically my sophomore year) was the last time I remember feeling like I was still fairly “normal” weight-wise. I was probably a size 14 at the time, still much larger than the majority of my friends. But I was running daily, which helped me to manage my weight. I remember loving my school picture sophomore year. I had just gotten my braces off, was wearing a shirt from the Gap (a big deal at the time) and was tan from a summer spent running. That year, I went to Homecoming with the new, cute boy in our grade. I thought I was hot stuff.

Then came the hip injury which kept me from running. I steadily started gaining. I think I tried Weight Watchers at least 10 times throughout the rest of high school. I got depressed and went on an anti-depressant. I don’t know if that contributed to my weight gain, but I do recall that I really blew up during my senior year. I think I was about 215 when I graduated.

In college I did Atkins for quite a while, then tried out vegetarianism. Even though I was still fairly active during my first two years of college (I was a thrower on the track team) the drinking and constant access to food helped me pack on the pounds. I think I was probably about 270 by the time I graduated college.

Life after college consisted of more multiple attempts at Weight Watchers, almost getting gastric bypass surgery, then two different attempts at the Johns Hopkins Weight Management Program. The program there was supplement-based, and so I could only eat 6 supplements a day for four weeks, until real food was reintroduced. My caloric intake was 800-1,000 calories a day. In fact, it was so low-fat that I needed to add a tablespoon of oil to whatever soup I was eating so that my gallbladder would keep functioning. Yes, I lost weight – about 30 pounds. But as soon as I was allowed to introduce real food again, I went off the deep end. I gained back everything I lost, and then some. I tried the program again, a few years later – but the supplements ended up giving me some major digestive issues, so that was it for me.

Then there was NutriSystem, which I thought was the perfect solution when I was living in my apartment without a real kitchen. A microwave and a mini-fridge was all I needed. I found the NutriSystem food to be disgusting, so I ended up eating other crap. I actually ended up selling a huge amount of my leftover NutriSystem food on Craigslist.

I tried SlimFast, but was always hungry. I tried those fresh, pre-prepared meals that you just have to warm up. They were tasty, but expensive.

It makes me sick to think of how much money I’ve wasted on weight loss programs and diets. Thousands and thousands of dollars, I’m sure. I could have used that money to go on a tour of Europe, or a cruise through the Greek Isles.

The fact of the matter was that I just wasn’t ready to lose weight yet. I liked the idea of being thin, but I was too overwhelmed by the amount I had to lose. I didn’t want to make the committment. I wanted to still eat crap and not exercise. I made a million excuses.

No more.

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One Response to “A brief history of diets.”

  1. Token Fat Girl Says:

    Hi Erin! you won the contest on my website, please email your mailing address to me and I will have it sent right over to you!
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